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Sun Sep 2, 2018, 03:35 PM

Scenes From an American Tragedy: The Texas Border Crisis

More than 2,300 children were separated from their parents through Donald Trump’s “zero tolerance” policy before it was suspended on June 20th. In July, I spent five days with my sketchbook in the Rio Grande Valley, the epicenter of the border crisis, and found an immigration system returning to its status quo – which even without family-separation is one of daily cruelty and heartache. Children were no longer being ripped from their mothers and fathers; families were incarcerated together, sleeping on bare concrete in packed processing centers, nicknamed hieleras, or “iceboxes.”

“They humiliate us,” a mother from Honduras told me at the McAllen bus station, where hopeful but exhausted migrants go after their often-traumatic initiation into the U.S. immigration system. “With sticks, they beat the metal bars to wake us up. If the children cry, they go after us. There was a child with a fever. They bathed him in cold water and let him lie naked on the floor except for his underwear. The mother was crying because the child is crying. She wants to cover him, but guards tell her she can’t.”

From the moment they’re seized at the border, immigrants move through an archipelago of institutions — Customs and Border Patrol, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the Executive Office of Immigration Review — and at each point, they are guarded, shackled and transported by private contractors working for Ahtna, Trailboss and G4S. When I presented allegations of mistreatment to spokesmen from Customs and Border Patrol, they did not respond to my request for comment.

This alphabet soup of agencies does not make it easy for the media or anyone else to witness the detention centers and courtrooms that “process” the humans who cross the border. Officers withheld information from me about rules for visiting facilities, and presented elaborate, shifting requirements for access. On my first day reporting, I had permission to visit the Port Isabel Detention Center in Los Fresnos, where detainees work in the cafeteria and scrub toilets for $1 a day (a can of coke at the commissary costs $1.75). Port Isabel’s record of human rights complaints stretches back years; in 2010, inmates launched hunger strikes over medical neglect and the lack of legal aid, and a former guard wrote a memoir detailing the facility’s history of corruption and abuse, comparing it to Guantanamo Bay.


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Reply Scenes From an American Tragedy: The Texas Border Crisis (Original post)
Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin Sep 2018 OP
bronxiteforever Sep 2018 #1

Response to Yo_Mama_Been_Loggin (Original post)

Sun Sep 2, 2018, 04:22 PM

1. Kick & recommend for visibility. Can't let this tragedy be covered up.

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